Locking up Ryan to a Strome long-term contract could be costly…and painful

A long-term deal could set the Rangers back significantly on their cap

Whether or not to sign Ryan Strome long-term has been a point of contention for many fans. On one end of the spectrum, Strome was a 20-goal, 65-point player this season. That comes on the heels of an 18-15-33 campaign in 63 games last season. On the other hand, Strome has never really had consistent history of producing this much, and there was concern if he was smoke and mirrors and a product of an unsustainable hot streak (last year) and then playing with Artemi Panarin (this year).

No matter where you sit on this spectrum, it doesn’t matter. Strome’s production is his production. Strome’s underlying stats are his underlying stats. They all play into a contract value. Luckily for us, the twins at Evolving-Hockey released their contract projections, and for Strome, they are a doozy.

Strome comes in at a long-term deal, eight years, and a $7.6 million cap hit. Suffice it to say, that is absurd, and a huge increase on his $3.1 million cap hit this season. It is worth noting that this does not represent Strome’s demands. It is just a projection of what he would likely earn on a long-term deal. This takes many factors into account, including the number of UFA years a team would be getting.

Before you get up in arms about the projection, Evolving-Hockey is rarely wrong. The Rangers specifically are pretty in sync with their projections. They do miss, but it’s not often and it’s usually based on term. This is based off years of projections. When it comes to getting a good free agency picture, they are the go-to.

To reiterate, this doesn’t reflect Strome’s demands. No one knows those right now. It simply reflects what Strome is likely to earn on a long-term deal. That’s over $1 million more than Chris Kreider, which again makes sense. Kreider is older and wasn’t on a 65-point pace. The scoring numbers don’t lie with Strome, and it shows up in the contract predictions.

While I’m sure the discussion will delve into whether or not Strome is worth it, that’s not necessarily the point of the post. Strome is likely on pace for more than the $5 million many have him pegged for, especially on a multi-year deal. The question for the Rangers is simple: Do they want to commit that much money and term to a guy who may or may not be a flash in the pan? It is a tremendous risk that can has a bigger likelihood of crashing and burning than paying off in spades.

Luckily for the Rangers, they don’t need to make a decision right away. Strome is a restricted free agent this summer. They can kick the can down the road one more season. For what it’s worth, here are the other contract lengths/terms they project out:

  • 1 year, $4.9 million (3% chance of happening)
  • 2 years, $5.08 million (4% chance of happening)
  • 3 years, $6 million (9%)
  • 4 years, $5.8 million (8%)
  • 5 years, $6 million (25%)
  • 6 years, $6.8 million (17%)
  • 7 years, $6.58 million (3%)
  • 8 years, $7.6 million (31%)

The top-three have Strome at a long-term deal and at least $6 million. This is one of Strome’s only chances for a payday, and with the chances of a lockout looming after next season, he’d be wise to cash in as soon as possible. It is also unlikely he continues to score at this pace, especially if someone like FIlip Chytil passes him on the depth chart.

For the Rangers, it’s about risk management. Is Strome, who is likely to slip to a 3C sooner rather than later, worth that kind of money? Even as a 2C, is $7.6 million worth it? These seem like easy answers, but sometimes things aren’t so easy.

Show More
  • No way no how … and Strome’s isn’t the only STUPID projection here, Sam Reinhart is way out of line. I would say most of the other projections are inflated by at least 10-20%.

    Regardless they should sign him to as little term as possible.

      • Rarely … but they’re wrong. Nobody is paying Strome based on one really good year playing with Panarin, even the Rangers. If someone is willing to pay him anything close to that, let’s trade him.

          • Last time I underestimated stupid was in November of 2016 — if he can be sold HIGH at the draft and he’s asking for more than a 3-4 year deal @ $6M or more I bite the bullet and trade him, then give the #2C to Chytil. I don’t dislike him as a player and he meshes well with Panarin, but seriously he takes some of the worse penalties I’ve ever seen and at inopportune times.

            He’ll be 27 come July and I don’t think we should be saddled with a big contract when he hits his 30’s — either you believe Chytil will be ready in a year or two or you don’t. That should be a huge consideration in all of this because no one wants to pay a 3rd line center more than $4M per … so I’m comfortable with 3 or 4 years with a salary in the 5’s.

          • Good pts u all make above, but keep in mind that free agency overpays players involved for sure, so better to try to keep a good player u already have for a bit less. And, the CAP is a League/owners construct to keep the players underpaid and themselves extra wealthy! Strome is a good player and one of our best trade deals in a while so he’s worth keeping, but on a prudent deal only OR, trade him for the best deal and go with younger less expensive players or even look in the market for an upgrade ourselves. We DO still need to get better, bigger, tougher, and more skilled, especially in our middle 6.

  • I can’t see any way the Rangers give him 7 million, especially if it’s for any long term. Considering that Mika’s next contract is due in 2 years, they’d better be saving $$$$ for what he’s going to get.

  • I think you go 5+ years for only very Legit superstars. Strome does not fall into that category.

  • a former first round pick who matured late?

    if so he merits the money in my opinion.

    he doesn’t get hurt, is a good locker room guy, and has chemistry with a player that we have on the books for years to come.

    just saying, with Henrik, smith and stall leaving the books soon enough.

    maybe MGT see the player that picked coming to the surface a little late, but still surfacing.

    be well all. Godspeed

  • Strome is a beneficiary of Panarin’s play. He is more like the 40-45 point player without him. He is a defensive liability and takes way too many stick penalties. I wouldn’t give him more that 3 years in the 4.5 million range. Maybe Morgan Barron is a replacement, or we can make some trade with our talent depth. Next year he probably would be a3C.

  • I didn’t want Strome this year, never mind for 7 more years.

    Trade him after this season or sign him for one year and then trade him at the deadline. He’s not worth even $5M per.

  • No no no. Definition of a cap killing deal. This is an easy no with the knowledge that several players will need new deals in the next few years, with Zib being the bank breaker (which is well deserved).

  • I always say Beware of signing a guy in his contract year. Also who they play with when all of a sudden his numbers a way above the normal range. The contracts these days are a risk and that’s why I think owners need to be able to buy a guy out if they don’t live up to the contract. But not at the current way because it’s unfair to owners and the fans. The contract should not be held against a team for double the years it’s not fair! If a player has 3 years left a team should be able to just buy them out and it’s done. This nonsense of having a guys contract count against your team when he doesn’t play for you anymore is not right and we fans are the ones who suffer because our team doesn’t have that money to use to replace him.

  • Strome has played well for the Rangers, but in my opinion he is not worth a long term deal with a lofty salary. I’d rather that they bite the bullet and let Chytil have a long term shot at 2C and move Strome to the 3C role if he is kept and pay him accordingly. If they cannot work that out, then I’d deal him to someone who values him more highly.

  • Question about the draft.Is there a package that would make sense for NYC and Ottawa–Rangers getting Quinton Byfield/2nd pick?

    I think Byfield has the potential to be special–might go 1st–probably would have gone first last year. Not sure if there is a non-stupid/suicide package that would entice the Senators to give it up. The Rangers’ two first rounders alone would not do it. What would would they have to add (Lundkvist? Robertson? Kravtsov?) and would it be worth it?

    • Last year when the Rangers had the #2 Pick —- would you have traded it? Why do you think Sens would be inclined to make a trade? The over-payment would be MASSIVE and probably not really worth discussing.

  • Strome seems like a good person and teammate. Chemistry is important. However–even being weak at center as an organization–Chytil, Barron and Hendrikson, hopefully, will nicely fill pivot spots behind Mika. Kravtsov and Kakko might eventually be able to play center. I just can’t see signing Strome for more than 3-4 million. Think of all the talent coming up. If he has a 6-7 year deal north of 7 million–the team is, essentially, committing to trade some younger players, who are or will be more valuable than Strome, in the near future for cap relief.

  • Strome is a RFA. Rangers can qualify him for a 1yr deal. They can move him at next seasons’ trade deadline.

  • Strome should not be here past next season at best. He’s soft. Rangers need physical, hard to play against players, especially a center.

  • 6+ years, frontload it and ditch him once Chytil looks ready to take over. Any less term and frontloading becomes problematic on the AAV, which defeats the concept and enhancing the asset.

  • Strome is a good player w/numbers up with Panarin, but if need to give more than $5.75 for 5 yrs it is not smart IMO. Zib should and will get 11 for 7 per soon and others worth it will be getting paid too. However, once again smart cap mngmnt is prudent; replace Howden, trade Buschnevich and Smith, and let Staal and the King together retire with honors and celebration B4 the 2020/21 season starts and have that $22+ Mil saved on the 4. Give Staal and Henriq front office jobs to make up any loss they incur by retiring earlier than they wanted to save us cap and roster space (thanks guys). Assuming we give ADA $4.5 of that plus his current $1, and a few other raises to Lemieux, Georgiev, et al and hopeful additions still leave us plenty under the cap and in good shape if we do not give Strome over 6 per. And do not give out no-trade or movement clauses anymore unless to Zib and for a modified term to others. Get better at drafting, then LGR. Remember we still have to get better and continue to develop those kids showing their worth
    and lose a few proving that they are not in our future.

  • Back to top button